Abstract

Occupational therapists frequently work with children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) in hopes of enhancing their occupational performance. There is debate among researchers and health care professionals about whether the motor coordination problems experienced by children with DCD have a physiological basis or whether they are the result of a developmental delay. Even among researchers who agree that these difficulties are of physiological origin, there is a lack of consensus as to whether these motor problems are multisensory or unisensory. This article focuses on the physiological explanation, presents a review of the literature on the possible physiological origins of motor coordination problems in children with DCD, and shows that the current literature on the physiological basis of DCD requires more empirical evidence to substantiate either multisensory or unisensory theories of motor dysfunction in children with DCD. The debate over the nature of motor problems in children with DCD has two implications for occupational therapists: that there is no one way to treat these children and that the cause of the difficulty varies from child to child.

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